By Millicent Stott
Focusing on inner beauty is what it means to have the “hot girl summer” of your dreams!
With the UK lockdown ending shortly, there has been a newfound flurry of adverts selling products promising to have you looking perfect in time for a summer of lazing around in the sun and visiting our much-missed Spoons’ pub gardens. The pressure to show off our ‘lockdown glow up’ is mounting – the focus on looking gorgeous, fresh, and tanned is causing stress for many of us. But whilst companies are seizing upon this as an opportunity to sell us products and treatments we don’t need, from diet lollipops to moisturisers, approaching summer with a healthy mindset is far more important. Focusing on inner beauty is what it means to have the hot girl summer of your dreams!
Take the time this summer to get to know yourself, appreciate yourself, and practice self-care after an immensely difficult lockdown. Here are five tried and tested methods to help you tackle the pressures of the warm weather, and rethink your hot girl summer.
1. Practice body acceptance
Let’s face it, feeling positive about your body is hard work. Feeling good about how you look at all times can sometimes feel like another stressor in itself. Summer, the season of beach trips and swimming, is often interrupted by bouts of anxiety about how our bodies look in swimwear or summery outfits. .
But it’s your hot girl summer, so don’t be hard on yourself! Simply focusing on nourishing and appreciating your body is enough; accept your body for the hard work it does for you, and counter those negative thoughts when you notice them coming in. Remember that you are more than the outward appearance of your body, and treat it with the softness and kindness it deserves
2. Celebrate small wins
In our social media-fuelled society, constant comparison to others’ achievements is exhausting. Try to celebrate your own achievements, whether that’s completing your to-do list, taking a new bus route, or remembering to brush your hair! Perhaps you could even try something new, like going shopping alone or finally submitting that piece of writing you’ve been too nervous to share. Be your own biggest cheerleader – every time you push yourself a little out of your comfort zone, you will be reminded of your independence and your capability. Celebrate every time you have a small win, whatever that looks like for you. Confidence is feeling the fear, and doing it anyway. This very same confidence guarantees a hot girl summer.
Who better to share your innermost hopes and secrets with than a trusty notepad and pen? Writing down your anxieties, achievements, and emotions is one of the best ways to understand yourself. You don’t have to be a wordsmith to journal – even writing something as simple as a list of goals or favourite books is a great place to start.
Think about starting a bullet journal, tracking your moods, activities, and favourite moments from the day. A gratitude journal is also a fantastic way to combine writing and mental wellbeing, listing a few things from your day that you’d love to look back on in months to come. And we all know that getting your creative juices flowing is one of the most enjoyable forms of self-care. Summer 2021 calls for connecting to your values, exploring memories and de-stressing. Nothing says hot girl summer like knowing yourself best, and being your own soulmate.
4. Intuitive eating
The dieting industry is incredibly powerful in making us feel like our bodies aren’t quite good enough as they are. Pushy advertising plays upon our insecurities, hence why so many of us feel a nagging sense that we should be trying new fads, cutting out food types, and ignoring pangs of hunger. Intuitive eating is pretty much the opposite of this, a philosophy which tells you – listen to your body!
Instead of feeling the pressure to restrict your diet in preparation for your ‘bikini body’ (whatever that entails), trust yourself and the signals your body is giving you. Simply put, eat until you are no longer hungry. Harmful crash diets often involve cycles of starving and bingeing, which can cause you immense damage. Believe that your body, not a company or the opinion of another, knows what is best for you. With this comes challenging the idea that there are foods that are ‘good’ and ‘bad’, and letting yourself nourish your body with exactly what it asks for. Respect your hunger, and know that your body has your back! It’s hot girl summer, and we aren’t letting anyone tell us what to do.
Standing in front of the mirror talking to yourself feels pretty weird at first. But with time and practice, incorporating affirmations into your everyday routine is incredibly empowering. Even saying these in your head can be incredibly valuable in starting your journey towards self-love. Changing the way you see yourself is never easy, but this is where affirmations come in. Searching for statements that resonate with you on Pinterest is a great place to start; try making a board of your favourites and begin to say them aloud whenever you need a boost. Even if you don’t believe the words you say at first, eventually, you will realise you are simply speaking positive truths about yourself.
Hot girl energy always comes from within.
Spending this summer practicing self-care and nourishing your inner beauty is a sure way to tackle the intensity and pressure of the coming warmer weather. Remember – you’ve got this!